Syndication Ratings: Top-Five Talkers All Strong, Steady

The top-five talkers all held steady and near their season highs in the week ending January 13, and not one series in the 13-show category declined.

Leading the group was CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, back in originals and holding steady at a 3.2 live plus same day average household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, after gaining 33% in the prior week. Among daytime’s key demographic of adults 25-54, Phil tied Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael and Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the lead at a 1.5.

Live With Kelly and Michael came in right behind Dr. Phil, standing pat at a 3.1. 

Rounding out the top five, Ellen, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and NBCU’s Maury also all held firm at a 2.7, 1.9 and 1.9, respectively.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams advanced 6% to a 1.7. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz saw its ratings come to life with two exclusive interviews with HIV-stricken actor Charlie Sheen on Jan. 11 and 12, jumping 7% to a new season-high 1.6 and tying CTD’s Rachael Ray. Ray was steady for the week and whipped up the largest annual increase of any talk show, gaining 14% compared to last year at this time.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors all were on par with the prior week, at a 1.5, 1.4 and 1.1, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Real rose 10% to a 1.1, tying The Doctors, while NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will conclude its run in May, held steady at its season-high 1.0 for a second straight week.

Among the newcomers, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily remained at its series-high 1.0 for the third week in a row and was the top new strip in first-run for the 18th consecutive week. Disney-ABC’s FABLife, which will conclude its run at the end of this season, also held at its series-high 0.9, first set last week. In third place, NBCU’s Crazy Talk slipped 17% to a new season-low 0.5.

Among women 25-54, Crime Watch nabbed a 0.6 in the key demo. FABLife followed with a 0.4 and Crazy Talk came in last with a 0.3.

CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 1% for the week but led syndication at a 7.7 for 29th time in the past 30 weeks. Judy improved 4% from last year at this time.

CTD’s Hot Bench remained hot, equalling its series high 2.5 and growing 47% from last year, by far the largest annual increase of any syndicated strip. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court picked up 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.5. Twentieth’s Divorce Court sank 7% to a 1.3 and Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.9.

In access, the top games were down a bit from the prior week but still strong. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 4% to a 7.3 to take second-place in overall syndication. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 3% to a 7.0 for third, while CTD’s Jeopardy! sagged 6% to a 6.6. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, renewed for season three, gave back 7% to a 1.4, tying Disney-ABC’s also-renewed Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which appreciated 8% to a 1.4, but was still down 26% from last year at this time.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute, which next season will be distributed by Disney-ABC and air on the ABC owned stations, clocked an unchanged 1.2, and was down 25% from last year.

Elsewhere, the top entertainment magazines remained high in the heart of awards season, with the Golden Globes airing on Sunday, Jan. 10. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led with a steady 3.6, matching its season high set in the prior week. CTD’s Inside Edition, which doesn’t strictly cover entertainment, dropped 9% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at its season-high 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood showed the genre’s most growth, spiking 6% to a 1.8, its highest rating since the week of Nov. 30. Warner Bros’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider held firm at a 1.5 and 1.3, respectively. 

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and OK! TV were unchanged at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms, although it slipped 3% to a 6.2. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men declined 3% to a 2.9. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly remained at a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ rookie 2 Broke Girls weakened 5% to a 2.1. SPT’s Seinfeld slid 10% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother lost 11% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at a 1.6, while Twentieth’s The Middle climbed 7% to a new season-high 1.5.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.